Bender, distinguished visiting professor of creative writing at Hollins for the 2015-16 academic year, is the author of the story collection <em>Refund</em>, which was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for fiction. It was also on the shortlist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and was a<em> Los Angeles Times </em>bestseller. Her other books include<em> A Town of Empty Rooms </em>(Counterpoint Press) and <em>Like Normal People</em> (Houghton Mifflin), also a <em>Los Angeles Times</em> bestseller as well as a <em>Washington Post </em>Best Book of the Year and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
Bender’s short fiction has appeared in <em>The New Yorker</em>, <em>Granta</em>, <em>Ploughshares</em>, <em>Zoetrope</em>, <em>Story</em>, <em>Narrative</em>, <em>The Harvard Review</em>, <em>Guernica,</em> and <em>The Iowa Review</em>. Her stories have appeared in <em>Best American Short Stories</em>, <em>Best American Mystery Stories</em>, and <em>New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best,</em> and have won two Pushcart Prizes. She is also the coeditor of the nonfiction anthology <em>Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion.</em>
Funding provided by the Dee Hull Everist Visiting Speaker Series.